Friday, June 21, 2024

How is Artificial Intelligence Changing the Travel Industry

Artificial Intelligence leads the way for those traveling local places and beyond. All types of travelers enjoy the comforts of AI: newbies, business persons, or adventurous travelers.

Artificial intelligence is leaving its mark in all walks of our lives. It starts from face detection opening our smartphones, social media filters to smart assistants

AI is revolutionizing the way people travel earlier, making it a lot more effortless. 

Imagine, a person traveling from Paris to Japan. Many issues like language barriers and unknown places, he may come across. 

But, AI streamlines the journey from beginning till the end. AI predictive technology helps you make informed decisions while traveling and be confident travelers. 

We’ll explore “how” further in this blog. Let’s dig in. 

Travel AI: Entering the Third Era

Machine learning and Artificial intelligence are quite buzzwords in the market. The reason is its ability to act smartly and mimic human intelligence. 

Artificial Intelligence uses algorithms to perform tasks previously thought possible only by humans. It includes understanding emotions and learning from experience. 

AI is making the travel industry more efficient and taking over mundane tasks. The best part is, services are available 24*7 without human error.

The Covid has affected the travel industry badly but AI is making everything trouble-free. Pre-check-ins and contactless face detection are the frontiers.

How did AI come into the picture?

The journey of AI took a leap after World War II after a mathematician Alan Turing asked a simple question in 1950.

“Can machines think?”

Turing’s paper “Computing Machinery and Intelligence” and his experiments put forward the path for Artificial Intelligence.

Computer scientists categorize the present computing era as the third one. The first one being, mainframe computers. In the second phase, personal computers set foot in the mainstream. 

Now, it’s the time for high-speed data and technologies like automated reasoning, natural language processing (NLP), and intelligent agents.

Several airports and companies are actively experimenting with AI to provide workable solutions to travelers. We’ll discuss this in detail in the next section. 

The Impact of AI on the Travel Industry

Gone are the days when people spent hours finding the best range of trains and flights for their journey. AI presents the lowest-priced tickets within seconds. All you need to do is ask Siri, and it’s there on your screen.

As years pass by AI implementations in the travel industry are changing from being doubtful to promising. 85% of the companies believe that machine learning is helping their customers. Read on:

Artificial intelligence as software assistance

Chatbot to plan and book trips

AI assistants or chatbots are the smartest examples of AI for the travel industry. A software application that chats with users in their natural language. Chatbots are conversational in nature that understands both text and audio.

The features of AI digital assistants may be simply looking for advice on travel destinations. Additionally, real-time responses to local weather forecasts, booking flights, and hotels are not a big deal. 

Virtual travel assistants are a click away on your handheld devices. Skyscanner messenger is another such bot that you can install on Facebook, Skype, Telegram, and others.

The best part is that customers get personalized experiences. Finding flexible flight deals, car rentals, and looking for travel inspiration is possible within seconds. Eddy travels has crossed 4 million active users supporting worldwide travelers on Whatsapp. 

AI digital assistants for flight forecasting

Flight forecasting is the ultimate feature of AI digital assistants. AI-powered applications can effectively predict flight tickets for the future. 

To bring accurate forecasts, assistants analyze factors like 

  • past data
  • flight history
  • seasonal variations
  • fuel prices

For instance, the festive season comes along with strong hype in prices. Also, people prefer to visit certain places due to special events. So, chatbots inform these factors, tell customers to wait, or book flights at this time.

Many companies prefer flight forecasting for their employers. It proves to be lighter on customer pockets while acting as an active customer support agent.  

Sam the intelligent travel bot, you can ask for flights from New York to Mexico after two months. It will show you the cheapest flights and book trips if you want. 

Hopper is another AI assistant that informs travelers about flight forecasting. It has sold more than $600 million since its launch.

Hopper explores trillions of flight databases with machine learning and prediction algorithms. Additionally, forecasting prices are 95% accurate that employ user intent, customer demands. 

The personalized recommendations and optimal flight booking timings are its best feature.  

Travel guide at new places

Travel assistants powered by AI act as a reliable source of information for adventures or business meetings at new places. Sometimes finding a guide and translators is both costly and unreliable.

In case you’re not familiar with a language like Chinese, you can ask your voice assistant “I’m hungry, show me the best Pizza around.” Google maps along with several restaurant options open. Language issues get resolved easily. 

In times of emergency, scalable machine learning and natural language processing act as a savior. During emergencies like storms and cyclones, travelers want quick answers to evacuate. 

Travel assistants powered by AI can scale and address queries within the blink of an eye. NLP chatbots can handle travelers from different nationalities and areas. It overcomes the barriers like limited staff and language-related skills. 

Cashless payments

Traveling wherever in the world, cashless payments are the most convenient option. It saves travelers from purchasing country-specific currency and giving change to shopkeepers.

Online payments enhance tourism experiences considerably. It provides a competitive advantage to the market increasing their demand and profits.

Mobile payments and eWallets are fast replacing traditional payment methods. Melia hotels introduced its own bracelets that allow customers to make cashless payments. 

Bracelets track user behavior regarding purchasing decisions. Let’s say a user opts for a spa and a particular wine. Next time, the hotel chain offers personalized packages to them for opting for their services.  

Social media review sensing

Travel companies can’t ignore 58.7% of the total world population using social media. Whenever millennials and Gen Z visit travel destinations, they post photos, videos with hashtags. 

Also, 36.5% of users find inspiration and ideas for travel from Facebook, Instagram, etc. How will It affect the reputation if someone puts negative reviews? 

AI bots detect negative reviews early and help companies undo the damage by contacting the concerned customers. Travel providers redeem their offers by conversing with visitors in their natural language with NLP bots. It averts the cycle of social sharing by competitors, bloggers, etc. 

Social media uses emotion AI that analyzes travelers’ feelings like negative, positive, or neutral. Sentiment analysis collects feedback data from comments, nonverbal language in photos, and trending hashtags. Accordingly, the tourism industry can showcase their testimonials on their websites and catch new visitors.

Artificial intelligence as Robots

AI is present not only in the form of software but also hardware in various ways like:

Smart baggage handling

AI is advancing in leaps and bounds to end the sagas of lost bags at the airports. Many airlines and airports are giving a positive signal to baggage handling powered by AI and Robotics.

Companies like Cassioli use AI technology photo recognition and data automation for efficient operations. Nowadays, people want contactless and disruption-free handling of their belongings. 

For this, robotics is playing a wonderful role. Users need to hand over their bags during check-ins, and they get bag IDs. 

Further, autonomous robots will hand over bags at the departure airport. In case, there are delays in bag delivery due to quick flight changes, passengers can track their bag details. 

Smart bag handling gives visitors seamless and trouble-free travel experiences.

Robots for smooth check-ins and passenger handling

Various airports across the globe are using robots for smooth check-ins. They can move within the airport arena to disrupt passenger queues. 

A popular example is SITA which uses biometric technology for contactless self-check-ins. It uses artificial neural networks for facial recognition and fingerprints. Also, they can identify a person’s identity by comparing it with saved data.

Smooth check-ins result in happier customers by saving their precious time and avoiding standing in long lines. HIA is using robot SITA kiosks that are easy to handle by customers. Also, they charge by themselves for battery shortage. 

Security robots for airports and beyond

Safety and security are the biggest concerns of travelers. Many miss incidents happen due to lag in airport security and terrorists’ bad intentions. Sometimes miscreants hide from the eyes of CCTVs, and human security. But security robots can catch them with intelligent systems and technology.

Security robots may seem like a myth, but it is reality. Airports deploy them at several places armed with weapons, sensors, and AI-powered systems. Visual recognition and proximity sensors equip these robots to detect any mishappenings around the arena. 

Japan Kansai airports are using security robots Secom Robots X2 at their terminals. It is an effort to provide safe environments for travelers. By working around the clock and without breaks, they are assisting human security to make their task easier. 

US airports are also experimenting with the security robot Knightscope to detect concealed weapons and hidden items. You can expect security robots in the mainstream once they start handling security autonomously and their cost goes down.

Key Takeaways

Artificial intelligence is benefiting travelers, airports, and enhancing revenue opportunities for the travel industry like:

  • Customers like personalized preferences for travel destinations, and booking tickets.
  • Machine learning is enhancing security and averting risks within airports. 
  • NLP bots chat with customers in whichever language they are comfortable with.


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